The brainchild of Kate Thorman and Nora Chovanec, Abbott & West Productions is a New York City-based production company that makes spirited, creative, and thoughtful media for our interconnected world.
All our projects are designed to embody the all-encompassing media experience that we all live on a day-to-day basis. No project is exclusive to any one format, just as you are never solely on your phone or only watching TV. We aim to give our audience a media experience that fits the way you want to consume it.
If you have a project in mind that you think might be right for us, please reach out via the contact information below. We’re always open to potential collaborations, are available to be hired for a variety of productions, and are looking to expand in ways that will influence the media landscape.
How Our Productions Work
Our first production is The Innocents Abroad, a food and travel web/TV show and media project. In addition to our episodes, you’ll find a wide range of supplementary and complementary content on our website – from magazine-style food and travel essays to destination guides to recipes to image galleries – all of which is augmented through social media and a like-minded community. And, of course, because media doesn’t stop on the internet, we host a food and travel book group at Housing Works Bookstore Café and have a number of other offline projects in the works, including organized trips and cooking classes.
Once we have established this production and its followers, our goal is to get it picked up by a television network. We see a distinct lack of compelling, female personalities in food and travel television, much less those who delve into cultures and the kind of experiential travel we love.
Why Abbott & West?
As women attempting to make waves in the media, arts, and entertainment industries, we could think of no more fitting name than a tribute to those who have paved the way for us.
Abbott is for Berenice Abbott, a female photographer at the turn of the 20th century who left New York for Paris, discovered and made famous the Parisian street photographer Eugène Atget, and then came back to NYC and did the same kind of street photography herself. You may not know her name, but you know her photographs.
West is for Mae West, arguably the most ground-breaking female figure of early cinema, and a great comedienne and writer, to boot. Both Kate and Nora hail from the west coast, as well, despite now being based in New York.
Who are we?
A California girl at heart, Kate Thorman came to New York City after years of traveling around the world and living in Paris.
She told her first story before she could write and made her first movie when she was 13. Everything she has done since – from crashing motorbikes in Bali to working “under the table” in Paris – has been in pursuit of the stories she’d tell through her writing and with her own production company.
Kate now splits her time between Abbott & West and freelance writing, both of which provide her plenty of opportunities to travel, eat, and meet people.
Originally from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Nora Chovanec ended up in New York by way of Mexico City. As an artist and designer, much of her work focuses on the environment and agriculture.
Nora currently works for the world-renowned artist Maya Lin (of the Vietnam War Memorial and, most recently, the What is Missing? Foundation). She bakes pie like nobody’s business and almost dropped out of high school to become a chef’s apprentice.
A seriously impressive cook with an inquisitive mind and a taste for the unexpected, Nora uses any excuse to travel, eat, and learn about other cultures.